Ante-nicene fathers



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196196 Ex. xxvi. 37.

197197 Ex. xxvii. 1; “altitudo” in the text must be exchanged for “latitudo.”

198198 Ex. xxviii. 1.

199199 Ex. xxviii. 5.

200200 Josh. x. 17.

201201 [Note the manly contempt with which our author dismisses a class of similitudes, which seem, even in our day, to have great attractions for some minds not otherwise narrow.]

202202 365 (the days of the year)—12 x 30 + 5.

203203 These hours of daylight, at the winter and summer solstice respectively, correspond to the latitude of Lyons, 45° 45’ N., where Irenaeus resided.

204204 “Alluding,” says Harvey, “to a custom among the ancients, of summing the numbers below 100 by various positions of the left hand its fingers; 100 and upwards being reckoned by corresponding gestures of the right hand. The ninety and nine sheep, therefore, that remained quietly in the fold were summed upon the left hand, and Gnostics professed that they were typical of the true spiritual seed; but Scripture always places the workers of iniquity of the left hand, and in the Gnostic theory the evil principle of matter was sinistral, therefore,” etc., as above.

205205 “Levamen,” corresponding probably to the Greek anapausin.

206206 Agaph (a = 1, g = 3, a = 1, p = 80, h = 8) = 93.

207207 Alhqeia ( a = 1, l = 30, h = 8, q = 9, e = 5, i = 10, a = 1) = 64.

208208 Some read XX., but XXX. is probably correct.

209209 Harvey proposes “commentitum” instead of “commentatum,” but the alteration seems unnecessary.

210210 The syntax is in confusion, and the meaning obscure.

211211 “Regula.”

212212 “Errantes ab artifice.” The whole sentence is most obscure.

213213 Alluding to the imaginary Aeon Anthropos, who existed from eternity.

214214 1 Cor. viii. 1.

215215 “Aut;” h having been thus mistakenly rendered instead of “quam.”

216216 [This seems anticipatory of the dialects of scholasticism, and of its immense influence in Western Christendom, after St. Bernard’s feeble adhesion to the Biblical system of the ancients.]

217217 Matt. x. 30.

218218 Matt. x. 29.

219219 [Illustrated by the history of modern thought in Germany. See the meritorious work of Professor Kahnis, on German Protestantism (translated). Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1856.]

220220 “Rationem.”

221221 We read “veritatis corpus” for “a veritate corpus” in the text.

222222 Some such expression of disapproval must evidently be supplied, though wanting in the Latin text.

223223 Matt. xxv. 5, etc.

224224 The text is here elliptical, and we have supplied what seems necessary to complete the sense.

225225 It is doubtful whether “demonstravimus” or “demonstrabimus” be the proper reading: if the former, the reference will be to book i. 22, or ii. 2; if the latter, to book iii. 8.

226226 Matt. vii. 25.

227227 Or, “to that degree.”

228228 Comp. Clem. Rom. Ep. to Cor., c. xx.; and August, De. Civit Dei, xvi. 9.

229229 1 Cor. xiii. 13.

230230 “Permanet firma,”—no doubt corresponding to the menei of the apostle, 1 Cor. xiii. 13. Harvey here remarks, that “the author seems to misapprehend the apostle’s meaning. . . . There will be no longer room for hope, when the substance of things hoped for shall have become a matter of fruition; neither will there be any room for faith, when the soul shall be admitted to see God as He is.” But the best modern interpreters take the same view of the passage as Irenaeus. They regard the nuni de of St. Paul as not being temporal, but logical, and conclude therefore the meaning to be, that faith and hope, as well as love, will, in a sense, endure for ever. Comp., e.g., Alford, in loc.

231231 The Latin text is here untranslateable. Grabe proposes to read, “una consonans melodia in nobis sentietur;” while Stieren and others prefer to exchange aisqhsetai for asqhsetai.

232232 “Apotelesticos.” This word, says Harvey, “may also refer to the vital energy of nature, whereby its effects are for ever reproduced in unceasing succession.” Comp. Hippol., Philos., vii. 24.

233233 We here follow Grabe, who understands decet. Harvey less simply explains the vey obscure Latin text.

234234 The Greek term logo", as is well known, denotes both ratio (reason) and sermo (speech). Some deem the above parenthesis an interpolation.

235235 Comp. i. 12, 2.

236236 “Suffugatur:” some read “suffocatur;” and Harvey proposes “suffragatur,” as the representative of the Greek yhfizetai. The meaning in any case is, that while ideas are instantaneously formed in the human mind, they can be expressed through means of words only fractionally, and by successive utterances.

237237 Thus: Bythus, Nous, Logos.

238238 Isa. liii. 8.

239239 Mark xiii. 32. The words, “neither the angels which are in heaven,” are here omitted, probably because, as usual, the writer quotes from memory.

240240 Comp. Matt. x. 24; Luke xi. 40.

241241 Ps. cx. 1.

242242 1 Cor. ii. 10.

243243 1 Cor. xii. 4, 5, 6.

244244 1 Cor. xiii. 9.

245245 Massuet proposes to insert these words, and some such supplement seems clearly necessary to complete the sense. But the sentence still remains confused and doubtful.

246246 [Gen. xl. 8; Deut. xxix. 29; Ps. cxxxi.]

247247 John xiv. 28.

248248 [On the great matter of the pericwrhsi", the subordination of the Son, etc., Bull has explored Patristic doctrine, and may well be consulted here. Defens. Fid. Nicaenae, sect. iv.; see also vol. v. 363]

249249 1 Cor. xiii. 9.

250250 “Altitudines,” literally, heights.

251251 [Wisdom, ix. 13, 17. A passage of marvellous beauty.]

252252 Comp. i. 7, 1.

253253 “Refrigerium,” place of refreshment.

254254 Billius, with great apparent reason, proposes to read “descensio” for the unintelligible “discessio” of the Latin text.

255255 Grabe and Massuet read, “Si autem animae perire inciperent, nisi justae fuissent,” for “Si autem animae quae periturae essent inciperent nisi justae fuissent,”—words which defy all translation.

256256 The text is here uncertain and confused; but, as Harvey remarks, “the argument is this, That if souls are saved qua intellectual substance, then all are saved alike; but if by reason of any moral qualities, then the bodies that have executed the moral purposes of the soul, must also be considered to be heirs of salvation.”

257257 “De impetu:” it is generally supposed that these words correspond to ek th" epistrofh" (comp. i. 5, 1), but Harvey thinks ex ormh" preferable (i. 4, 1).

258258 The syntax of this sentence is in utter confusion, but the meaning is doubtless that given above.

259259 Ps. civ. 2, 4.

260260 Isa. xl. 12, 22.

261261 Irenaeus was evidently familiar with Horace; comp. Ars. Poet., 300.

262262 Matt. vii. 7.

263263 The punctuation is here doubtful. With Massuet and Stieren we expunge “vel” from the text.

264264 Or, “the Scriptures of the Lord;” but the words “dominicis scripturis” probably here represent the Greek kuriwn grafwn, and are to be rendered as above.

265265 2 Cor. xii. 2, 3, 4.

266266 “Inciperet fieri;” perhaps for “futurus esset,” was to be.

267267 “Quartum coelum;” there still being, according to their theory of seven heavens, a fourth beyond that to which St. Paul had penetrated.

268268 2 Cor. xii. 3, defectively quoted.

269269 This is an exceedingly obscure and difficult sentence. Grabe and some of the later editors read, “uti neque non corpus,” thus making Irenaeus affirm that the body did participate in the vision. But Massuet contends strenuously that this is contrary to the author’s purpose, as wishing to maintain, against a possible exception of the Valentinians, that Paul then witnessed spiritual realities, and by omitting this “non” before “corpus,” makes Irenaeus deny that the body was a partaker in the vision. The point can only be doubtfully decided, but Massuet’s ingenious note inclines us to his side of the question.

270270 “Praestat dignid:” here a very ambiguous expression.

271271 That is, as Massuet notes, all things derive not only their existence, but their qualities, from His will. Harvey proposes to read causa instead of substantia, but the change seems needless.

272272 Heb. i. 3.

273273 That is, Barbelos: comp. i. 29, 1.

274274 “Tradunt;” literally, hand down.

275275 Qui, though here found in all the mss.MSS;., seems to have been rightly expunged by the editors.

276276 The reference probably is to opinions and theories of the heathen.

277277 Comp. 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18. [On the sub-apostolic age and this subject of miracles, Newman, in spite of his sophistical argumentation, may well be consulted for his references, etc. Translation of the Abbe Fleury, p. xi. Oxford, 1842.]

278278 “Perficiatur:” it is difficult here to give a fitting translation of this word. Some prefer to read “impertiatur.”

279279 Rev. xii. 14.

280280 Matt. v. 21, etc.

281281 Matt. xiii. 43.

282282 Matt. xxv. 41; Mark ix. 44.

283283 Comp. i. 25, 4.

284284 “Artificialia.”

285285 “Pureos investes,” boys that have not yet reached the age of puberty.

286286 The text has “stillicidio temporis,” literally “ a drop of tim” (stagmh cronou); but the original text was perhaps stigmh cronon, “a moment of time.” With either reading the meaning is the same.

287287 Some have deemed the words “firmum esse” an interpolation.

288288 That is, as being done in reality, and not in appearance.

289289 Harvey here notes: “The reader will not fail to remark this highly interesting testimony, that the divine carismata bestowed upon the infant Church were not wholly extinct in the days of Irenaeus. Possibly the venerable Father is speaking from his own personal recollection of some who had been raised from the dead, and had continued for a time living witnesses of the efficacy of Christian faith.” [See cap. xxxi., supra.]

290290 Comp. Acts viii. 9, 18.

291291 Matt. x. 8.

292292 Grabe contends that these words imply that no invocations of angels, good or bad, were practised in the primitive Church. Massuet, on the other hand, maintains that the words of Irenaeus are plainly to be restricted to evil spirits, and have no bearing on the general question of angelic invocation.

293293 We follow the common reading, “perfecit;” but one ms. has “perficit,” works, which suits the context better.

294294 We insert “et,” in accordance with Grabe’s suggestion.

295295 Harvey thinks that this parenthesis has fallen out of its proper place, and would insert it immediately after the opening period of the chapter.

296296 It is a mistake of Irenaeus to say that the doctine of metempsychosis originated with Plato: it was first publicly taught by Pythagoras, who learned it from the Egyptians. Comp. Clem. Alex., Strom., i. 15: Herodot., ii. 123.

297297 “In hominem conversi,” literally, “returning into man.”

298298 “Possidet.” Massuet supposes this word to represent kurieuei, “rules over” and Stieren kratunei, governs; while Harvey thinks the whole clause corresponds to kratei kai kurieuei tou swmato", which we have rendered above.

299299 Literally, none of things past.

300300 The Latin text is here very confused, but the Greek original of the greater part of this section has happily been preserved. [This Father here anticipates in outline many ideas which St. Augustine afterwards corrected and elaborated.]

301301 Grabe refers to Tertullian, De Anima, ch. vii., as making a similiar statement. Massuet, on the other hand, denies that Irenaeus here expresses an opinion like that of Tertullian in the passage referred to, and thinks that the special form (character) mentioned is to be understood as simply denoting individual spiritual properties. But his remarks are not satisfactory.

302302 Luke xvi. 19, etc.

303303 With Massuet and Stieren, we here supply esse.

304304 Some read resurgeret, and others resurrexerit; we deem the former reading preferable.

305305 Ps. cxlviii. 5, 6.

306306 Ps. xxi. 4.

307307 As Massuet observes, this statement is to be understood in harmony with the repeated assertion of Irenaeus that the wicked will exist in misery for ever. It refers not annihilation, but to deprivation of happiness.

308308 Luke xvi. 11, quoted loosely from memory. Grabe, however, thinks they are cited from the apocryphal Gospel according to the Egyptians.

309309 Comp. Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph., ch. vi.

310310 Gen. ii. 7.

311311 Ex defluxu, corresponding to ex aporroia" in the Greek.

312312 Eloae here occurs in the Latin text, but Harvey supposes that the Greek had been Elweim. He also remarks that Eloeuth (tk'hla

) is the rabbinical abstract term, Godhead.



313313 All that can be remarked on this is, that the Jews substituted the term Adonai (ynda

) for the name Jehovah, as often as the latter occurred in the sacred text. The former might therefore be styled nameable.



314314 The Latin text is, “aliquando autem duplicata litera delta cum aspiratione,” and Harvey supposes that the doubling of the Daleth would give “to the scarcely articulate a

a more decidedly guttural character;” but the sense is extremely doubtful.



315315 Instead of “nec posteaquam insurgere,” Feuardent and Massuet read “ne possit insurgere,” and include the clause in the definition of Addonai.

316316 The author is here utterly mistaken, and, notwithstanding Harvey’s earnest claim for him of a knowledge of Hebrew, seems clearly to betray his ignorance of that language. The term Sabaoth is never written with an Omicron, either in the LXX. or by the Greek Fathers, but always with an Omega (Sabawq). Although Harvey remarks in his preface, that “It is hoped the Hebrew attainments of Irenaeus will no longer be denied,” there appears enough, in the etymologies and explanations of Hebrew terms given in this chapter by the venerable Father, to prevent such a conclusion; and Massuet’s observation on the passage seems not improbable, when he says, “Sciolus quispiam Irenaeo nostro, in Hebraicis haud satis perito, hic fucum ecisse videtur.”

317317 Probably corresponding to the Hebrew term Jehovah (hwhy

318318 Literally, “belong to one and the same name.”

319319 “Secundum Latinitatem” in the text.

320320 The words are “apostolorum dictatio,” probably referring to the letters of the apostles, as distinguished from their preaching already mentioned.

321321 This last sentence is very confused and ambiguous, and the editors throw but little light upon it. We have endeavoured to translate it according to the ordinary text and punctuation, but strongly suspect interpolation and corruption. If we might venture to strike out “has Scripturas,” and connect “his tamen” with “praedicantibus,” a better sense would be yielded, as follows: “But that I may not be thought to avoid that series of proofs which may be derived from the Scriptures of the Lord (since, indeed, these Scriptures to much more evidently and clearly set forth this very point, to those at least who do not bring a depraved mind to their consideration), I shall devote the particular book which follows to them, and shall,” etc.

11 Luke x. 16.

22 See 1 Tim. iii. 15, where these terms are used in reference to the Church.

33 On this and similar statements in the Fathers, the reader may consult Dr. Roberts’s Discussions on the Gospels, in which they are fully criticised, and the Greek original of St. Matthew’s Gospel maintained.

44 1 Cor. ii. 6.

55 This is Harvey’s rendering of the old Latin, in illo qui contra disputat.

66 The Latin text of this difficult but important clause is, “Ad hanc enim ecclesiam propter potiorem principalitatem necesse est omnem convenire ecclesiam.” Both the text and meaning have here given rise to much discussion. It is impossible to say with certainty of what words in the Greek original “potiorem principalitatem” may be the translation. We are far from sure that the rendering given above is correct, but we have been unable to think of anything better. [A most extraordinary confession. It would be hard to find a worse; but take the following from a candid Roman Catholic, which is better and more literal: “For to this Church, on account of more potent principality, it is necessary that every Church (that is, those who are on every side faithful) resort; in which Church ever, by those who are on every side, has been preserved that tradition which is from the apostles.” (Berington and Kirk, vol. i. p. 252.) Here it is obvious that the faith was kept at Rome, by those who resort there from all quarters. She was a mirror of the Catholic World, owing here orthodoxy to them; not the Sun, dispensing her own light to others, but the glass bringing their rays into a focus. See note at end of book iii.] A discussion of the subject may be seen in chap. xii. of Dr. Wordsworth’s St. Hippolytus and the Church of Rome.

77 Polycarp suffered about the year 167, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. His great age of eighty-six years implies that he was contemporary with St. John for nearly twenty years.



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